Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.

Nessel calls Schuette ‘very gracious’ in AG transition

By: - January 4, 2019

Dana Nessel, Michigan’s first Democratic attorney general in 16 years, had kind words about her Republican predecessor. Nessel told the Michigan Advance in an exclusive interview on Thursday that Bill Schuette was “very gracious” and left her a note — written with “exquisite penmanship” — in which he “offered to assist me in anything that […]

Barnes lands Nessel endorsement for Dem party chief

By: - January 4, 2019

Attorney General Dana Nessel tells the Michigan Advance that she is backing Lavora Barnes for Michigan Democratic Party chair. Nessel joins Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in endorsing Barnes, a former President Clinton administration official who has served as the MDP’s chief operating officer since 2015. “I honestly feel as though I would not be sitting here […]

Slotkin, Stevens share social media videos before new Congress convenes

By: - January 3, 2019

The two women who flipped congressional seats in Michigan both shared Twitter messages before officially joining the 116th Congress, which kicks off today. New U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) followed the popular tradition of communicating directly with constituents in unpolished social media posts that guest columnist Amanda Stitt detailed last […]


Susan J. Demas: Into the Snyder-verse: The guv’s Lame Duck act doesn’t save his legacy

By: - January 1, 2019

What can you say about Michigan’s manic, marathon Lame Duck session except that it could have been worse? As Gov. Rick Snyder prepares to leave office after eight years, he desperately needed to restore some of his reputation after his inept and insensitive response to the Flint water crisis. He’ll probably avoid national media lumping […]

Calley lashes out against ‘political’ prosecutions in Flint

By: - January 1, 2019

The Flint water crisis will undoubtedly define Gov. Rick Snyder’s legacy. After the lead contamination scandal dominated national and international headlines, he charged Lt. Gov. Brian Calley with heading up the administration’s response. In a Dec. 20 interview with Calley at his Capitol office, the Michigan Advance asked him if criticism of Snyder on the […]

Barnes-storming: Veteran Democratic organizer is frontrunner to lead party in ‘19

By: - December 29, 2018

For two decades, Lavora Barnes has been the person Democrats call when they have a problem. Can’t get people to go door-to-door during a campaign? Have a candidate who veers wildly off-message? Can’t figure out how to target voters in a new district? “She gets everything done,” says Amy Chapman, a longtime Democratic strategist who […]

Gov. vetoes bill snatching Nessel’s power, signs ballot initiative limits

By: - December 29, 2018

It was a humdinger of an evening for term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed perhaps the most-watched legislation on his plate. That was the bill that would have clamped down on the power of Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel, who will be the first Democrat to hold the office in 16 years. “We are grateful to […]

In final days, Snyder issues LGBTQ rights executive directive

By: and - December 28, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder, who leaves office next week, announced today he signed an executive directive instructing all state agencies and departments not to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity in procurement, grant and loan programs. “Michigan’s continued reinvention and economic growth depend on talented individuals choosing to live and work here,” said Snyder, […]

Conservatives tell Snyder to veto ‘power grab’ bills

By: - December 28, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder has received appeals from two prominent conservatives to veto some of the biggest Lame Duck bills on his desk. Mike Cox, a two-term GOP former attorney general, and Nolan Finley, editor of the Detroit News editorial page, have both made their cases in recent columns. Cox wrote a Dec. 21 op-ed in […]

Calley doesn’t rule out running for governor again

By: - December 27, 2018

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley isn’t announcing yet what he’s doing next — and he’s also not closing the door on seeking the governor’s mansion again. “I wouldn’t rule it out,” Calley, who unsuccessfully ran for the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nomination, said in an interview with the Advance last week. “Governor’s really the only office that […]

Whitmer pledges to bring back bottled water for Flint

By: - December 26, 2018

After the Gov. Rick Snyder administration made the call in April to stop giving out bottled water to Flint residents, his successor said she will bring the program back. The Republican’s administration cited almost two years of test results showing falling lead levels in city tap water. But many Flint leaders and residents remain alarmed […]

Whitmer: ‘Rational conclusion’ that sexism was a factor in campaign coverage

By: - December 22, 2018

During the course of the 2018 campaign, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was frequently asked by reporters about — and attacked by opponents for — her father’s former job. The governor-elect served 14 years in the Michigan Legislature, including four as Senate minority leader. She’s an attorney, a former University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School for […]